Nander is the newest addition to fledgling Sydney techno label Hunter Gatherer, which has already spawned EPs by Gardland and Cassius Select in 2013. Originally from the Mid-North Coast of New South Wales but now based in Sydney, producer Nick Anderson played guitar in high school punk bands before he discovered electronic music via artists like Autechre and Aphex Twin.
For those familiar with the other two Hunter Gatherer artists, Nander’s material won’t come as a huge surprise. The gentler, less pummeling mood of Streamer / Speech positions him halfway between the tech-dub dreaming of Rhythm & Sound and the dense, enveloping ambience of Wolfgang Voigt’s Gas LPs. If neither of those references mean anything to you, just imagine stormy, indifferent synths pressing against and deteriorating the steady 4/4 pulse beneath. These otherwise functional beats sound endangered by the melee they inhabit, like they’ll just rust away with time.
Nander’s 12 inch releases on May 8. Its A-side, Steamer, is streaming below, and further below is a short introductory interview.
Hunter Gatherer will host its official label launch at Sydney’ Red Rattler on Saturday night, featuring Gardland, Cassius Select and others. Check out the Facebook event.
How did you become involved with the Hunter Gatherer label?
I was really interested in Gardland after seeing them perform a few times and hearing their EP. It was exciting to know that this new Gardland / Hunter Gatherer thing had come out of nowhere. The label’s mentality and purpose seemed to embody everything I love about music. So, without expecting a reply, I sent through an email one day to tell them how much I liked the label and linked them to some of my songs.
There seems to be a techno renaissance in Sydney at present. Do you agree? If so, why now?
Yeah, it definitely seems like it. There are so many different people putting on different nights now, which is cool because it allows for different styles of techno/house to be exhibited and keeps it exciting. I worked at Goodgod Small Club for a while, and it was interesting to experience the development of different parties run by various promoters and to see how the crowds and music would vary each week.
I’m really not involved or educated enough in the local (or international) electronic music communities to know why techno is gaining such momentum in Sydney, but to me it feels like, by now, everyone knows whether they are legitimately interested in modern electronic music or not, and now people are sharpening their tastes to more specific areas of the genre.
Why do you make the type of music you do? What are some influences?
Originally I was making sample-based music with a lot of vocals, but everything I made felt like a total failure. I made an EP last year with that sound and it sucked, so I started stripping things back and making mostly instrumental music.
When I started making techno-esque music I wasn’t chasing a certain sound, [but] rather just making sounds with the influence of the raw production and spacey atmospheres of early dub-reggae music. A friend of mine later showed me some Basic Channel / Rhythm & Sound tracks and I instantly loved it. It’s also worth noting the influence of Ricardo Villalobos because I listen to his stuff a lot.
Conceptually I try to make music with an illusion of movement — kind of like in movie scenes where characters sit in a car with a moving image displayed on a screen in the background. The songs aren’t really developing or moving to a new point, even though it feels like it is. Like pseudo-dance music or something?
Your EP leans more on the ambient side of the spectrum. Is that indicative of all your work as Nander, or is it just one facet?
I think it’s just how the music naturally ends up sounding most of the time. I’ll often make something then listen back to it the next day and think that it’s too upfront and hyper active, so I’ll change it to sound more level-headed and spacious. As a guitarist I’ve always been into washed out reverb and delay-heavy sounds, so that must carry over into the music I make on a laptop. Almost all of the music I’ve ever made has been pretty drenched in reverb and noise, so it’ll probably continue like that. Growing up with Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works 85 – 92 LP is probably left to blame.
What’s coming next?
I’ve started working on a few tracks for an EP that will hopefully be done around June. I’m starting to build up a live set as well for the first time, so it will be fun to maybe get out and play music outside of my bedroom. At the end of this month I’m moving to Berlin for the rest of 2013, where I plan to become immersed in both music and Bundesliga football!
Nander’s Steamer / Speech 12 inch will be available through Hunter Gatherer on May 8. Order on the Hunter Gatherer website.